The genus Rubus, (especially the blackberries, which are often loosely referred to as Rubus fruticosus agg.) presents some of the most difficult taxonomic problems. This is partly due to the frequency of polyploidy; also to the frequent occurrence of hybridization; and also due to apomixis, where minor differences between plants are preserved because seedlings are genetically identical to their parent. As a result, differences of opinion on the number of species to be recognized from a given region can vary tremendously (for example, a treatment by M. L. Fernald[
] in 1950 recognized 205 species for the northern half of the eastern United States plus parts of southeastern Canada, whilst H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist in 1991 recognized only 25)[
]. Where possible, a relatively conservative approach is taken here[
Rubus atrocoeruleus Gust.
Rubus chrysocarpus Mundt
Rubus discolor E.Mey.
Rubus mundtii Cham. & Schltdl.
Rubus rigidus is a very variable, scrambling shrub producing a cluster of stems from a woody rootstock; the plant can grow up to 3 metres long[
]. The stems are sparsely to moderately prickly, with prickles 3 - 5mm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use of its edible fruit. It has been cultivated as a fruit crop in parts of Nigeria[
Africa - northern Nigeria to Ethiopia, south through eastern Africa to S. Africa.
Swamp-forest margins, stream-banks and roadsides in montane locations at elevations from 1,040 - 2,100 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Species in this genus are generally easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Fruit - raw[
]. A more or less acid flavour[
]. The deep orange, globose fruits are around 8mm long, but are very often galled and then become much larger[
Seed - germinates best if given a period of cold stratification prior to sowing in containers. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the growing season. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame[
Tip layering towards the end of the growing season
Division just before the plant comes into new growth or as it enters dormancy[
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